Just this month in Chicago, a family in Illinois settled a $3.75 million wrongful death lawsuit after a young woman died of a painkiller overdose after being prescribed a Fentanyl patch at a rehabilitation center where she was recovering from spinal inflammation.
The FDA has stressed in the past that the Fentanyl patch is an extremely powerful drug that should be used with extra care by health professionals. Their last warning statement reiterated that the drug should only be used by patients who suffer from chronic pain, who are opioid-tolerant, and who do not respond well to other painkillers. In addition, doctors and pharmacists should make certain that patients using Fentanyl patches are not taking drugs that will interact negatively with the drug. Finally, patients and health professionals alike were urged to read the instructions and warnings on Fentanyl patch use carefully, especially the affect of heat on the patches.
Still, hundreds of reports from around the country show that doctors are prescribing the patches to the wrong patients, that medical professionals are not stopping the use of the patch even when overdose symptoms become apparent, and that doctors are mixing the drug with other drugs that patients are already taking.
If a loved one has been harmed or killed by a Fentanyl patch overdose or a misuse of the drug, talk to a medical malpractice attorney today about your case.